Reiki for Beginners

The word Reiki is made from two Japanese words –

Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power


Ki which is “life force energy”.

so Reiki is “spiritually guided life force energy.”

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a method of healing that aims to bring the body back into balance by the spiritual use of channelled vibrations. It works essentially with the aura – the ‘subtle body’ or vibrational field that surrounds and envelopes us. You can read more about the aura here.

Reiki healing doesn’t involve any forms of body manipulation. It’s given by a Reiki Practioner to the recipient who remains fully clothed. Some Practioners use a very light touch while others hover their hands over the body and don’t touch the recipient at all.

You can be given Reiki treatments from a professional or a friend who has been trained. Once you have received a Reiki Attunement, you can give Reiki treatments to yourself.

What Does a Reiki Treatment Feel Like?

Reactions can vary. Some people don’t feel anything at all. Others become very emotional and describe the experience as highly cathartic. Some feel a heightened connection to their own inner beliefs or spirituality.

The most common feeling is one of blissfully deep relaxation and inner peace.

How Did Reiki Start?

Mikao Usui AKA Usui Sensei Founder of the Reiki System of Healing

Mikao Usui (Usui Sensei), founder of the Reiki System of Healing. Image with the kind permission of

The Reiki system of Healing was given to a Japanese gentleman called Mikao Usui. He received the teachings in the form of a revelation in 1922.

Usui – also called Usui Sensei – (1865 – 1926) was an intensely spiritual man.

During the last four years of his life, Usui travelled all over Japan spreading the teachings of Reiki. He taught more than two thousand students but only sixteen of them went on to become Reiki masters. A retired naval officer called Chujiro Hayashi was a member of that elite group. He and Usui worked together to condense the huge amount of Reiki information into smaller amounts that could be taught more easily.

Hayashi opened a clinic for Reiki in Tokyo. One of his clients was a Japanese-American lady called Hawayo Takata. She had multiple health issues including severe asthma. After months of treatment, Takata was restored to full health and became a lifetime devotee of Reiki.

She was responsible for bringing Reiki to Hawaii and later on, to the United States mainland. She worked as a Reiki practitioner and teacher for more than forty years. Her work culminated in attuning twenty two Reiki masters.

Takata died in 1980 but her Reiki masters continued to spread her teachings and to attune others. Now, Reiki healing is practices world wide and is hugely popular.

Can Reiki Help Me?

Reiki can be used to –

  • enhance relaxation
  • strengthen overall well being
  • reduce pain
  • reduce anxiety
  • reduce fatigue
  • help to manage symptoms of chronic illness
  • reduce the side effects of long-term prescription medications
  • help recovery following injury or surgery

Lady receiving a Reiki treatmentReiki is a good integrative therapy to try because people generally start feeling better very quickly with Reiki. As anxiety and pain lessen, and people feel hopeful about regaining their health, they feel more able to incorporate other needed health interventions or make needed lifestyle changes. Reiki therapy often clears the mind, enabling patients to better evaluate the sometimes conflicting medical information being offered by various specialists, so they can make important treatment decisions with greater confidence. In this way, Reiki can help people become more actively involved in their own health.

Reiki can be received from someone else (either a friend, healthcare provider, or Reiki professional), or it can be learned by all who want to practice Reiki on themselves.

Today, Reiki is commonly being used in three areas, by:

  • The lay public at home, for themselves, family and friends
  • Reiki professionals offering therapy in their offices or other wellness and healthcare settings
  • Nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists, dentists,massage therapists, and chiropractors who integrate Reiki into healthcare during office visits or inpatient care in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, and other healthcare facilities

Energy Therapy or Meditation?

reiki master symbolReiki is a complementary and alternative medicine practice that uses energy fields – or biofields – to promote good health. Energy biofield therapies work on the subtle layers of energy that all living things have. Reiki and other energy therapies (such as Therapeutic Touch) are used to bring energy back into balance.

However, some Reiki healers say that Reiki is not the same as most other energy therapies, which use special techniques to initially assess the current state of a person’s energy field and then make corrections. Practitioners of Reiki don’t diagnose and they don’t focus on improving the person’s biofield energy.

For these reasons and because of the sensations experienced by both practitioner and recipient, Reiki is sometimes referred to as an interactive meditation.

Reiki practice is highly passive with the practitioner only moving their hand to change positions. The practitioner is a conduit for the healing energy of Reiki.

Reiki energy being channelled by the practitioner is able to spontaneously go to the area of the recipient’s body which is most in need of re balancing. This happens even if the practitioner uses the same hand placements on all their clients. Because of this, it is possible to start the healing process in a very short time – although the full treatment is recommended.

How Does Reiki Work?

Holistic practices view health as a dynamic state of balance which has strong resilience. If you are healthy, your body can handle a certain level of stress quite happily. This is because the human body has an ability to heal itself. It has various methods to keep things balanced.

All energy therapies strive to bring your energies back into balanceHowever, these methods decline if you undergo

sudden, intense stress


moderate, constant stress over a period of time.

We experience stresses all the time in our daily living. If these ‘normal’ stressors – emotional, physical, financial, social, environmental,etc. – become unbearable it can result in poor health, lack of vitality and loss of wellbeing.

Reiki helps to lessen the impact of stress by releasing tension from the entire system. This allows the person’s mind, body and spirit to rebalance. Also, Reiki enables the body’s own healing mechanisms to work more effectively.

What is Reiki Doing?

Reiki is known to lower the heart rate, bring down high blood pressure and lower levels of stress hormones which helps to strengthen the immune system. How Reiki actually achieves those health benefits is not fully understood.

Reiki evokes a quick response which involves many of the body’s systems. This may happen simutaneously or to the systems one after the other. It is able to change the body’s response to stress (fight or flight) and take it to a response of relaxation. The enables the body to start using its own inbuilt methods of self healing.

It has been suggested that Reiki works on a subphysical level in order to trigger

  • physical healing
  • mental healing
  • emotional healing and
  • spirtual healing

either simultaneously or in turn.

Science calls this subphysical level the biofield.

The Biofield

This is the scientific term for what we call the aura – a multi layered field of vibrating energy that both surrounds and penetrates through the body.

the biofield

The biofield is built up from intricate layers. Although we cannot measure it using recognised medical technology, its existence has been recognised for thousand of years. Most ancient cultures recognised that the biofield must be balanced and knew that if it was not kept in balance, illness would develop.

It’s interesting that world wide indigenous peoples have used sound vibrations to restore balance. This was accomplished using vibrations created by drumming, playing the tamboura and didgeridoo. Vocal vibrations were also practiced through changing and humming. Medical science is only now catching up and seeing benefits from therapeutic vibration.

Many healing therapies work by aiming to bring the biofield back into balance. Acupuncture, qigong, yoga and shiatsu all work this way – as do many others. Reiki is the most gentle of all of these because it balances energy fields using subtle vibration rather than forms of manipulation.

It is now being suggested that Reiki arises from a source that is even more subtle than the biofield. Physicists call this the unified field.

The Unified Field aka The Theory of Everything

Professor Stephen Hawking who tried to find a Theory of Everything

Professor Stephen Hawking was  one of many physicists who tried to come up with a “theory of everything”, a single theory that would explain everything about our universe. He was following in the footsteps of Albert Einstein, who tried and failed to devise such a theory.

Unified field theory is sometimes called the Theory of Everything (TOE).

TOE is the holy grail for physicists. It is a way of tying together all known phenomena to explain the nature and behavior of all the matter and the energy in existence.

In physics, a field is an area which is under the influence of a force, such as gravity or electricity. A unified field theory would reconcile aspects of various field theories (which seem incompatible) to make one single set of equations.

This is mindblowing stuff because a theory like that could potentially unlock all the secrets of nature and make amazing wonders possible, including time travel and an endless source of clean energy – among many others.

John Hagelin

The Science Bit…Essential Reading

Doctor John S. Hagelin has published a study called Is Consciousness the Unified Field? If you’ve heard of, or read Carl Gustav Jung’s theories of the collective unconscious*, you will want to read this study.

Collective unconscious is a term coined by Carl Jung, which refers to structures of the unconscious mind which are shared among beings of the same species.

Why Doctor Hagelin is worth listening to…

  • A.B. Summa Cum Laude from Dartmouth College in 1975
  • Completed his Ph. D. at Harvard University in 1981
  • Joined the theoretical physics groups at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) where he became actively engaged in fundamental research at the forefront of supersymmetric unified field theories.
  • Following his positions at CERN and at SLAC, Dr. Hagelin joined the faculty of Maharishi International University, where he established a doctoral program in elementary particle physics and unified quantum field theories.
  • Dr. Hagelin has published extensively in the area of supersymmetric unified quantum field theories

so he knows what he’s talking about.

You can download the pdf of his study (which I highly recommend) or just read the Introduction and Conclusion below.

Introduction to Is Consciousness the Unified Field? A Field Theorist’s Perspective by John S. Hagelin 

“Progress in theoretical physics during the past decade has led to a progressively more unified understanding of the laws of nature, culminating in the recent discovery of completely unified field theories.

The parallel discovery of a unified field of consciousness raises fundamental questions concerning the relationship between the two.

Following a general introduction to unified quantum field theories, we consider the proposal due to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi that the unified field of modern theoretical physics and the field of “pure consciousness” are identical.

We show that the proposed identity between consciousness and the unified field is consistent with all known physical principles, but requires an expanded physical framework for the understanding of consciousness. Such a framework may indeed be required to account for experimentally observed field effects of consciousness and phenomenological aspects of higher states of consciousness.”

I will leave you with his conclusion.

“The evolution of scientific knowledge often requires extending the domain of scientific inquiry to include areas that were previously outside the range of scientific investigation.

Many eminent physicists feel that the final and most important scientific frontier is consciousness.

Now with the experiential technologies provided by Maharishi Vedic Science, consciousness has entered the realm of systematic, scientific investigation. The resulting science of consciousness already suggests a profound and previously unsuspected unification of objective and subjective realms of experience.

Indeed, if the applied technologies of Vedic science provide the direct experience of the structure and dynamics of the unified field, this could lead to a revolution in the field of scientific knowledge and methodology, and would constitute one of the key discoveries of our age.”

If that’s not exciting, I don’t know what is…


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